Chicken, Black Bean & Avocado Burritos with Ranch Salsa

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Tonight, I had a craving for something cheesy and comforting. I remembered that I hadn’t made anything along the lines of tacos, fajitas, or burritos in a while, so I opted for the burritos!

This burrito is a great weeknight recipe for families, couples, or just for you! It’s great because the ingredients keep well once baked together and can make a great lunch for the next day. The recipe I used had enough to make 5 large wraps so we could each have 1 for dinner and 1 for lunch. And of course Eric gets an extra for doing all my dishes!

The recipe is generally easy, but does involve frying and baking. I like to pan fry chicken for any burritos, fajitas or tacos because the meat cooks much quicker and seems to take on the flavour of spices better than baking it in the oven.

I found a great sale on chicken this week at Food Basics (3 breasts for $5) and was excited to know there would be enough for our lunches the next day. At last, we won’t be staying up until 11:30pm getting our lunches ready for work!

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For the seasoning, I find any chicken or beef is complimented with chilli powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper (along with a little bit of olive oil for frying). The chilli powder is a very mild spice and reminds me of the Old El Paso sauce mix for fajitas. Not only is the chicken juicy and well-flavoured, but the whole house smells to reflect that!

This recipe makes it easy to switch things around to accommodate for your dietary needs. You can substitute the black beans for the chicken or skip the beans and keep the chicken. Sometimes I’m not in the mood for chicken and just feel like a good veggie burrito. If you feel like it, throw a few more veggies on there (peppers for example).

Ingredients: 3 chicken breasts (cut into chunks for frying), 2 tbsp chilli powder, 2 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp ground black pepper, 1 cup grated marble cheese (mozzarella works too), 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained), 2 avocados (scooped and sliced), 1 tomato (diced), 2 tbsp salsa, 4 tbsp ranch dressing (2 used in the burrito mixture, 2 used overtop of wraps as a ‘drizzle’), 5 wraps (I used pesto & garlic).

Instructions: preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is preheating, cut the chicken into chunks for frying. Place the chicken chunks into the frying pan and drizzle with olive oil. Then, sprinkle the chilli powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir with tongs until cooked fully through. Slice the avocado and dice the tomatoes. Rinse and drain the black beans. Grate the cheese. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked chicken, the black beans, the cheese and the tomatoes. Then, cover the mixture with salsa and ranch. Dish two scoops of the mixture onto each wrap. Roll the burritos tightly and place in a baking dish. Drizzle ranch dressing overtop and bake for 8 minutes until the middle is warmed through and the outer shell is slightly crunchy. Serve with fresh avocado slices on top. You can serve this burrito on a bed of rice or with a side salad (as pictured above). *Note: you can bake the avocado in the burritos, but I’m simply not a fan of the taste of baked avocado.

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